For better or worse, it’s the way things work in sports. When teams fail to meet expectations, someone needs to take the fall (or at the very least, accept blame for all that ails the organization.) In Detroit, things obviously haven’t gone according to plan. So, who’s to blame? Let’s find out, shall we.
What they couldn’t have known was that it just wouldn’t work. And it doesn’t work, as the present six-game losing streak and the freefall back to .500 (27-27) attests. Even when Iverson plays his best, like he did against San Antonio, the rest of the players on the floor with him become statues. They stand around and watch Iverson skittering all over the floor, probing for a shot. They’ve never had to play that way. They aren’t very good at it and they don’t like it.
So down the stretch, the Spurs, like all good teams will do, forced the ball out of his hands and no other Piston could make a winning play. It’s worse on defense. The Pistons built their foundation on trust and accountability at the defensive end. They have run a lot of good players out of here (Maurice Evans and Jarvis Hayes to name two) because of their inability to hold their own defensively.
So here comes Iverson, who because of his offensive production has never been held accountable defensively. He’s a bad on-ball defender who tends to follow the flight of the ball and lose his man off the ball. Every time the opposing team needs a score, they go at Iverson with a high success rate.
Hey, when do the Lions start putting their pads on again?